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U of U professor says President-elect Trump could face impeachment

U of U professor says President-elect Trump could face impeachment

NOTE: Here is the original KUTV story, about a possible Trump impeachment, originally written in September, before Donald Trump was elected president.

(KUTV) University Of Utah law professor Christopher Peterson says, if it is proven that President-elect Donald Trump, defrauded customers of his Trump University, it would be within the rights of the U.S. Congress to bring articles of impeachment against Trump.

“I’m not saying that Congress will impeach him, I’m not saying Congress should impeach him. What I’m saying is, Congress legally could impeach him,” said Peterson.

He is a consumer protection law expert, who helped set up the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and teaches at the SJ Quinney College of Law. Trump faces two civil class-action lawsuits and a filing by the New York Attorney General’s Office that claims Trump University ripped off of customers.

Trump claimed he hand-picked professors and taught them his secrets for making money, but by his own admission, Trump had little or nothing to do with selecting the “professors.” The case has been litigated for six years, and is scheduled to go to a jury trial Nov. 28. The judge in the case, Gonzalo Curiel, whom Trump claimed during the campaign, could not be impartial because of his Mexican heritage, is not inclined to delay the trial.

If Trump does not settle the case, he will be required to testify during the proceedings.

Peterson said the case against Trump is strong.

“They're allegations that he cheated his customers and committed fraud and what's more ,even racketeering. Listen, if these allegations are true, if he really did lie to his customers and has an ongoing practice of it across state lines, they are serious crimes. Congress would be within its right to consider fraud and racketeering a high crime and a misdemeanor and could therefore go ahead and impeach him.”

Impeachment is unlikely given the congress is controlled by Trump’s own party, but if he refuses to settle, which has been the case in the past, the nation could undergo a spectacular trial that could include alleged victims who claim the president-elect bilked them out of thousands of dollars.

“Some of the stories you get from the customers are pretty tragic -- people who lost their entire life savings hoping they were going to learn how to make millions," said Peterson.

He said Trump should consider settling the case.

“If I were President-elect Trump’s lawyer right now, my advice to him would be: 'Mr. President it's time for you to move heaven and earth to settle these case so you can avoid putting our country through the trauma and embarrassment of a fraud trial for a sitting president of the United States,' "

If Trump does settle the case, his legal problems are not over, he is currently involved in 75 different lawsuits.

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